Tuesday, March 1, 2011

playing dodge the snow squall....

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.  ~Patrick Young

I listened to the rain pounding on the single pane window on the side of my little room all night.  The pattering of raindrops loud against the howl of the wind and the more distant roaring of the surf as it beat against the shore.   I burrowed deep into my nest of blankets.  I’d even pulled the spare blankets from the closet and thrown them on the bed to try to ward off the chill.

Incoming Storm
I woke as the light crept into my room and wondered if the wind had died down with the rain.  I slipped from the covers, and padded across my little room  to look out towards the sea.   Beyond the young fir trees  - the waves looked as angry as ever and their quiet drone had lulled me into complacency. 

I figured I had until 3 that afternoon for the weather to sort itself out as that was the time my float plane was scheduled to leave and get me home.  I dressed, packed, loaded my bag into the car and wandered over to the main house to see about coffee.  

My host, and the care taker of the lodge in which I was staying was just in the process of pulling something delicious smelling from the oven.  Breakfast!! Yum. When someone else cooks, it is always delicious... when it’s a professional cook catering to me... even better! 

With breakfast eaten and time to kill before my flight... where else but to the beach..

My work partner and I  bumped along the gravel road that leads to the beach,  the road is narrow bordered by cedar trees towering out of the peaty bog  and  adorned with thick clumps of moss hanging pendulously overhead.  And then the road ends abruptly  with an endless expanse of sand and wind and water. 

Tourists often undertake this drive down the 23km stretch of seemingly endless sand… however when placing a bet on having a tow truck arrive from Masset versus the tide coming in and swamping the tourist’s stuck vehicle, the smart money bets with the tide…  this beach claims a number of vehicles each year.  At the end of north beach… Rose Spit… the longest spit in Canada.  An immense sandbar stretches northward towards Alaska. 

Ocean Spray
The wind howled and hurtled bits of frozen snow pellets at me.. and I tightened my hood on my jacket and headed out to the water’s edge.  The waves pounded into the sea and the little rocky outcrop that marks the only  interruption in an otherwise lengthy stretch of sand that spans roughly over 100km between Masset and Tlell.

I was convinced the plane would never fly, but a break in the winds found me sitting in a little 5 seater beaver that made it’s treacherous way home dodging snow squalls over the turbulent waters below.  While I hung tight to the seat and tried not to think of how fast hypothermia would kill me assuming I even made it out of that 50 year old tincan of an airplane.... we somehow managed to make the crossing.

View from under the wing... trying to out-fly the incoming storm.

Lovers of air travel find it exhilarating to hang poised between the illusion of immortality and the fact of death.  ~Alexander Chase

1 comment:

  1. That cannot have been a pleasant flight... Glad you're safe at home again! : )